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ISSN : 2233-4165(Print)
ISSN : 2233-5382(Online)
Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business Vol.9 No.7 pp.19-32

Interaction Effects of Lay Theories and Failure Type on Adaptive versus Compensatory Consumption Behavior

Nak-Hwan Choi**,Li Wang***,Chang Chen****
* This research was supported by “Research Base Construction Fund Support Program” funded by Chonbuk National University in 2018.
** First Author, Professor, Department of Business Administration, Chonbuk National University, Korea. E-mail:
*** Co-Author, Master, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea. E-mail:
**** Corresponding Author, Doctoral Student, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea. Tel: +82-63-270-2998, E-mail:
June 14, 2018. June 28, 2018. July 15, 2018.


Purpose - This paper aims at exploring the effects of failure types such as failure in promotion orientation and failure in prevention orientation on consumers' consumption behavior, and the moderation role of lay theories in the effects.
Research design, data, and methodology – This study employed 2 between-subject designs(failure in promotion orientation vs. failure in prevention orientation) and also 2 (failure in promotion orientation vs. failure in prevention orientation) with implicit self as the within-subject. Chinese consumers participated in the empirical study, and to verify the hypotheses ANOVA, T-test and regression analysis were used.
Results – Consumers were more likely to choose adaptive consumption behavior rather than compensatory consumption behavior when they were encountered with failure in promotion orientation versus failure in prevention orientation. Lay theories did play the moderation role in the effect of failure types on consumption behavior. The incremental theorists who think that effort is an important way to accomplish their learning goals showed more willingness to conduct compensatory consumption behavior rather than adaptive consumption behavior.
Conclusions – Marketers should put more attention on the ways by which their products can help consumers self-improve when consumers encounter with failure. They should also be aware of the importance of consumers' mindsets when designing and developing advertising messages.

JEL Classifications: C83, L81, M31, P46.


    Chonbuk National University




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